What is going on with the growing trend of women over 50, 60 and 70 being embraced in Hollywood, fashion, and advertising? I believe the rise of powerful women over 50 in media is also good for us as women and as entrepreneurs.
In the last year, I’ve noticed a surge in the focus on women over 50 in all types of media.
A couple days ago a friend sent me a 2-minute video of Isabella Rossellini talking about being rehired by Lancome after she was fired 23 years ago for being too old to be the face of the dream they were selling.
I had just seen a picture of model Maye Musk a few days before that and thought how great it was that a beautiful gray-haired woman of 68 is getting more work than ever.
And going back a couple weeks earlier, we had just finished awards season where I saw many women powerful women over 50.
There is a movement going on in many areas of media and for us as female entrepreneurs.
Let me show you what I’m seeing and how it’s good news for you.
Women Over 50 and Gray Hair in Fashion
Models over 50 are having a re-emerging career and there are some over 60 who have never stopped. In fact, there was a 160 percent increase in models over 50 walking in the spring fashion shows in 2017 over spring 2016.
For example, Cindy Crawford just appeared in a Pepsi commercial with her son. You may have seen it during the Super Bowl.
Last September, at 51, she walked in the same Versace show as her 16-year-old daughter during Paris Fashion Week.
Maye Musk, the mother of Elon, has been modeling for over 50 years. Vanity Fair did an article on her a year ago, calling her the model of the moment.
And she has let her hair go gray, another taboo being squashed. At 68 she says she’s never worked as much as she is now.
The Rise of Powerful Women in Advertising
After being fired because at 42 she was too old to sell the dream, 23 years later she was hired back.
What has changed, the perception of age or women’s dream?
I say it’s both and the comments from the new head of Lancome bare that out.
Shortly after I turned 50, almost 12 years ago, I remember being happy to hear that 50 was the new 30. It worked for me. I certainly felt closer to 30 than what was perceived as life after 50.
Those labels society comes up with to tell us how we are supposed to look, feel and act after 50 are ridiculous! And frankly, way out of date.
Women at 50 are in the prime of their lives. While some are looking at kids going off to college, many women still have young children at home. Some, including a close friend of mine, are adopting after 50.
That’s exactly what Hoda Kotbe did. She became a new mother at 52.
Back to Lancome and Isabella Rossellini…
Now a woman is in charge at Lancome and she told Isabella that women felt excluded and rejected and now Lancome wants to change their communication. She said they had been wrong when they fired her and now they wanted to make it publicly right.
Lancome wants to include all women and define beauty differently than looking young.
She was asked back to help rewrite the next chapter for Lancome.
That’s a pretty epic shift, don’t you think?
I completely agree with their analysis and their decision to bring Isabella back. She is a class act and represents the company well. And she was gracious enough to go back.
If you’re really looking, you’ll see more women over 50 in cosmetic commercials. And why not? We represent a huge market that’s only getting bigger. And we have money to spend.
Just in terms of boomer women (because I couldn’t find any good stats on the financial power of women over 50!)
- Every fifth adult in the United States is a female over 50. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
- 50+ American women are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history. (Source: Demographics by Mark Miller)
- Women 50+ control a net worth of $19 trillion. (Source: MassMutual Financial Group, 2007)
- Over the next decade, women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband. (Source: Fleishman-Hillard New York)
- Once college bills are paid, women 50+ spend 2.5 times what the average person spends, and are primary buyers of computers, cars, banking, and financial services. (Source: Marti Barletta, “PrimeTime Women”)
- Wealthy boomer women are the marquee players in our country’s culture and commerce. They are educated, have a high income, and make 95% of the purchase decisions for their households. (Source: Karen Vogel, The Women’s Congress; She-conomy)
- Over 30 million women 50+ are the fastest growing demographic online. (Source: DMN3)
- Women 50+ spend, on average, 250% of what the population in general does. (Source: DMN3)
- Baby Boomer women spend upwards of $20 billion each year on clothing. (Source: DMN3)
Sorry to get slightly off topic again, but knowing our buying power is important, don’t you think?
You can watch the less than 2-minute video where Isabella talks about going back to work with Lancome here. Or watch the full interview below.
Would you have gone back if it was you?
The Rise of Powerful Women in Hollywood
I was so happy during this awards season to see so many women near my age or older who were either presenting or winning awards. These women rock!
And I was thrilled to see the Hollywood gossip shows covering the fashion of these women on the red carpet.
Many of them not only looked “amazing for their age”, which I’m not sure if telling someone that is really a compliment or not. I thought several women over 60 looked hot, and not just hot for women their age. Yes, women over 60 and 70 and even in their 80’s can be hot and sexy while they are being smart and powerful. Those are not mutually exclusive.
Things are definitely changing.
I know as women we don’t want to be seen as sex objects and we don’t want to be judged by our looks, but if you take care of yourself and you look and feel great, there’s nothing wrong with giving and receiving the compliment.
Forget the 50 most (fill in the blank) over 50 Lists
I’m so sick of those. And what’s even worse is when those ranking articles are in women’s health magazines. Really?
While most articles about women of Hollywood are still ranking them on how well their bodies are holding up or how young they look, or even worse by some arbitrary ranking of sex appeal, there are more and more women working in Hollywood after 50.
When you look at the usual ways women are judged in Hollywood, it’s cosmetic, meaning you can get a trainer, a nutritionist, a dermatologist and sometimes a good plastic surgeon, and still have a career in Hollywood.
I applaud the women who do what it takes to get work in Hollywood. I’m not being judgemental, just stating the facts. This is another area where women who aren’t Hollywood elite are left to feel less than because they don’t look like that.
And then there are those women who are aging naturally and still working in Hollywood. Those numbers are so small right now, you can probably name the women in this category off the top of your head.
Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves
Is it true that you no longer need to look like a 30-year-old at 60 to find work on screen?
I was very excited to see a new movie is coming out in May called The Book Club. It stars four women 60+ and a couple older me as well! Check out this trailer and let me know what you think. Will you see it? It was co-written by a woman and the production company is now owned by a woman.
What has Changed?
I think it’s the fact that these powerful Hollywood stars are taking matters into their own hands and producing the work they want to see. They are casting themselves and other talented women in roles based solely on talent.
For example, look at the success Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have had with Big Little Lies which they are executive producers on.
The Golden Globes in 2018 were awash with women whose talents we’ve been enjoying for decades now, including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Angelina Jolie and, of course, Meryl Streep. The average age of the nominees for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama, was 49, and Frances McDormand, who’s 60, won.
I could have listened to France McDormand deliver a dozen more speeches. I love who she is onscreen and off.
Are You Too Old to Be a Love Interest?
Can we say the days of women over 35 being told they are too old to play the love interest of a man in his 60’s are over?
If this new era of Hollywood women have anything to say about it we can, soon.
Although as recently as 2015 Maggie Gyllenhaal told a story about being deemed “too old,” at 37, to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man.
We still have a way to go considering 48-year-old Javier Bardem and 27-year-old Jennifer Lawrence were a couple in mother!, and 25-year-old Emma Stone and 53-year-old Colin Firth in Woody Allen‘s Magic in the Moonlight.
Why Are Women Dressed Like This?
It was also interesting to see the difference in the way the amazon women were clothed in Wonder Women, directed by a woman, as opposed to how they were dressed by a male director in Justice League.
Ok, I’ll admit the only way I knew about this was because I saw the two pictures on social media. I’ve never seen a superhero movie except for Wonder Woman.
Interestingly, the costumes were also designed by a woman for Wonder Woman and a man for Justice League.
And, women in movies (which are typically directed by men) are four times more likely to be shown in sexy clothing and three times more likely to appear nude, than men, according to a study done by USC Annenberg.
What Does all this Mean for Women Entrepreneurs Over 50?
“The new women’s movement is entrepreneurship.”
Last fall Forbes said women entrepreneurs over 50 hold the aces. Do you believe this is true?
The author sites, “The added work experience and the associated boost to their self-confidence significantly assists in the development of their businesses.”
Many of these entrepreneurs have spent decades in male-dominated industries, which some felt gave them a thicker skin, making them more fearless when it comes to starting their own business.
An article in the Guardian talks about how 20% of new businesses in the UK are being opened by women over 55.
One of those entrepreneurs says, “I will probably get shut down for saying this, but 50-plus women are often more agile and more adept at multitasking because that’s what we have had to do over the last decades of our lives, juggling caring for older relatives with bringing up younger children. Home and work. It makes you nimble in your mindset. Nothing can replace experience, knowledge, and wisdom, and you can’t buy them or study for them at university.”
MIT’s Joseph F. Coughlin argues that as people get older, women are better prepared for life after middle age than their male peers.
He also says women over 50 have new ideas, lots of life ahead of them and the verve to get it done.
I definitely agree with that.
He also said something I wasn’t aware of. The number one divorce rate in the country is among the 50-plus, mostly initiated by the woman.
Now that, I found very interesting. I filed for divorce at 51. Hmm.
Women are indeed being called on to change the world.
The question is if we are bold enough and brave enough to take the challenge on.
I say, yes we are.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and also learned a few things about the state of media, money, and entrepreneurship for women over 50.
This is just the beginning of our discussion of women empowered over 50.
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With over 40 years in sales and marketing, along with 45 years studying human behavior, Lynn Pierce, “The Voice of Women Empowered to Create an Ageless Body, Mind & Soul After 50” mentors soul-based entrepreneurs to reach your own personal version of success and an ageless lifestyle. Tell Lynn what the life of your dreams looks like, and she’ll create the blueprints to get you there, along with the sales system to fund it. Lynn is the author of, “Breakthrough to Success; 19 Keys to Mastering Every Area of Your Life”. Claim your free special report, “What Do You Stand For” here